"RPM started as a garage hobby to make snowboards and
outerwear (the garments worn for snowboarding). The snowboards
didn't eventuate but the outerwear I'd designed wasn't too bad. In
the mid 90's Mount Maunganui was a small town but there was a local
canvas sewer who made RPM's first pants and jackets I would cut
from weather proof canvas.
I slowly developed a market for RPM outerwear which soon
included technical waterproof fabrics and also casual apparel. By
the late 90's the NZ garment industry was practically finished so I
went to Fiji, which was great as I was no longer cutting all our
production. But in 2001 George Speight's coup put a dagger through
the Fiji garment industry so I went to Hong Kong and started
working with the Chinese.
By this time RPM had the quantities to comply with small
factories in China and communication via email enabled me to trade
with companies that ten years earlier probably wouldn't have been
possible. Working with China was fantastic compared to the
demanding, hands on process of manufacturing in Fiji and NZ. All
sampling development was done by them and we got finished tagged
and bagged garments that we'd send straight to
Happily working away with China, my only job as far as
production went, was to allocate and supply labels to our
factories. Initially (before Image Label Systems) I used to
purchase labels through a NZ company and stockpile them in our
I'd then count out and send them off on the courier to
whatever factory needed them. This was time consuming and
expensive, especially as we started making more stuff, more
regularly and in more places. Finally, after too many years of
counting labels all day, I discovered Image Label Systems.
It was a eureka moment!
Image Label Systems provided the final component that was
missing from RPM's supply chain management. They completely iced
the cake. Our label stocks are now held where our factories are, so
supply is far quicker and cheaper.
Youth based fashion and streetwear has always held
individuality and style in high regard. RPM subscribe to the status
of individuality and their fashion label is growing in support
because of it. RPM sells online and in retail stores across New
Zealand and Australia."
Owner/Director Mike Smith
The relationship we have with RPM has evolved since its
beginnings in 2011 and during that time it has been mutually
One of the advantages RPM gains in their relationship with Image
Label Systems is the fluency and understanding of multiple
languages with English as the primary language, no matter where in
the world they are based.
For a New Zealand based brand like RPM, who operate in the
fashion industry with a global view on production, that's a
Knowing that language barriers will not be an issue, even when
dealing with stock issues in Vietnam or China, is a huge positive
and Image Label System's dedication to communication is reflected
in our focus on preventing, what can be, debilitating and
time-consuming language barriers.
In our working relationship with RPM, they provide us with as
much data as we need to provide an efficient process. This can
sometimes mean holding and taking care of excess stock and it's an
element of production that we are happy to work with them on.
"The efficiency and convenience of working with Image Label
Systems has been outstanding. Bruce and his team have been great to
work with and have become a real asset to our business."